Today’s readings are full of contractions and impossibilities…thus proving the work of God.
“the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed;
for water gushes in the desert, the scorched earth becomes a lake,
the parched land springs of water.”
St James reminds us that the poor can be the greatest in the Kingdom of God. And there was nothing natural about the power of Jesus to heal with miracles. But that grateful community contradicted him by breaking His obedience. They revealed him to the authorities when he asked for silence, and thus they led him to his death. And yet God was not stopped He was able to include their failing as part of His vast plan for the salvation of the human race. Contradictions and impossibilities!
I think G K Chesterton and the Prophet Isaiah would have been great friends. Chesterton was a great believer in showing the work of God through contradictions and impossibilities. In his great work Orthodoxy he points out the impossible nature and contradiction of the Christian faith when compared to the secular view. “But all the optimism of the age had been false and disheartening for this reason, that it had always been trying to prove that we fit in to the world. And yet, the early Christian martyrs talked of death with a horrible happiness. They blasphemed the beautiful duties of the body: they smelt the grave afar off…like a field of flowers. The optimist’s pleasure was prosaic, for it dwelt on the naturalness of everything; the Christian pleasure was poetic, for it dwelt on the unnaturalness of everything in the light of the supernatural.” Orthodoxy by Gilbert K. Chesterton. Chap V. The Flag of the World.
Human contradictions and what seems impossibilities, will always come into our lives as long as we are “viators”, travellers on the way. They are part of every Christian life. Contradictions and impossibilities are the Christian’s means to show the power of God working through their faith. “For nothing is impossible with God” They are what call us to prayer, they make us search for higher reasons, they make us abandon a purely world view. This Sunday we have the impossibility and contradiction of not attending Sunday Church. Far from stopping us from our family worship, in some way it will strengthen our bond in Jesus. We are all being called to go that extra mile for Our Lord. God has allowed this opportunity for His glory, the glory of God is a family fully alive in Him, no matter where they worship. Be assured of your parish priest’s love and prayers this Sunday and during lockdown, we’re praying for you and your families.
God bless, Fr Andrew Matthew